2 Tips For Working Late

Is this your normal day?  Meetings. Meetings. More Meetings. 

“No problem,” you sigh to yourself.  “I’ll get to my to-do list tonight and catch up.”

Then in the evening, you work on your “actual job.” Email. Tasks. Expense Reports. Status Reports. Other work stuff. 

Party Foul! You just broke my two tips for evening work. 

Allow me to explain… 

Old School vs. New School Work Philosophy

Old School work philosophy is about the hustle. Always be hustlin. The number of hours we work is a badge of honor. Busyness becomes a sign of importance and self-worth. 

“How’s it going today?” asks a colleague. “SUPER BUSY,” you say. 

New School work philosophy teaches us that constraints drive productivity. By saying NO to meetings, assignments, and extra projects we can focus on the top priorities that leverage our highest and best use to the company. Ironically, we advance because we’re focusing our best efforts on the right things instead of all things. 

I think we all would agree… New School sounds amazing in a utopian kind of way. But what if that’s not your current reality? 

Thankfully, there’s a 3rd option. 

When you work late, choose to work on things that multiply your time or give you energy.

Tip #1: Things That Multiply Your Time

If you’re going to work late, work on things that give you time back tomorrow. 

  • Understaffed? Screen resumes or message your network on LinkedIn. 
  • Answering the same types of emails? Create a process to prevent the email.
  • Stuck with repetitive tasks? Create instructions to effectively delegate. 
  • Creating a new pricing strategy? Research

Work late to fix why you’re working late. 

Rory Vaden, author of Procrastinate on Purpose calls this the Significance calculation, which states:

“You multiply your time by spending time on things today that give you more time tomorrow.”

– Rory Vaden

Tip #2: Things That Give You Energy

Typically, there are parts of our job that we love. But during the day we’re often at the mercy of other people’s requests. Typically, we don’t love that. 

However, in the evenings, we are free. What we choose to focus on is completely up to us. If you don’t feel free – see Tip #1 above. 

If you find yourself working in the evening, why not choose to do the parts of your job that you love? 

Work can be fun. Getting into a flow state is one of the best feelings around – time passes effortlessly and studies show people in a flow state feel more energized, not burned out. 

If you’re putting in the extra time, spend it on the work you enjoy most. That’s how you circumvent burnout or at least delay it. 

Think these are two tips you can follow? 

Hit Reply or Comment on LinkedIn. I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

Published by brianhquinn

I write a weekly post to help you grow professionally, elevate your career and Become an "A" Player.